These are dark times and it feels odd to write about anything but the current crisis. And yet we all feel the need for levity, we want to connect and bond with our friends and colleagues, which is particularly hard right now. Things can get particularly complicated for companies that, like us, specialise in team-building activities. We do that because we firmly believe in the power of connecting in the workplace, and in the positive impact of human relationships on productivity. The question is, how do we adapt our idea of team building to a time when home office and smart working are the rule? We applied our trademark Italian creativity to this problem and came up with a range of amazing activities that you and your colleagues can try out even if you are working from home on opposite sides of the planet. Welcome to the brand new world of remote team-building.
We designed 3 amazing remote team-building to help your team stay connected
Coffee tasting – yes, really
Italians are particular about coffee: it’s a renowned national trait. It should not surprise, therefore, that our first idea was a coffee-fuelled one. We came up with it in an attempt to create a home-office version of one of our most popular team building activities: the Italian wine-tasting experience. Sharing a sensory experience with others is a fantastic way to bond with friends and colleagues and it creates positive associations, as well as being interesting and educational. How do you organise a shared tasting experience for remote workers? Easily enough, if there’s coffee involved. Each participant should be shipped a mystery box in advance, with instructions not to open it before the day of the exercise. The box should contain three or four selected coffee samples, ideally with the required tools to prepare them. The actual team building will be conducted with a professional coffee taster, in the form of the conference call. Each participant will follow the instructions, much like they would in a traditional coffee- or wine-tasting experience. The magic of this activity consists in the fact that, despite being apart from one another, all the participants will smell the same fragrances and taste the same flavours at the same time.
Virtual museum visit
This amazing remote team-building activity requires a strong broadband connection in every home-office involved. And it is, yet again, the virtual version of one of our favourite “traditional” team buildings. We love to take our international clients on tours of Italy’s museums. Since their forced closure, many of these museums have started offering free virtual tours of their rooms. What is missing, from a virtual experience, is not only the thrill of being in the presence of an actual masterpiece but also the depth and scope of knowledge that a museum guide can impart. This is easily solved, once again, with a conference call. The guide, in this case, will be an art historian, encouraging all participants to follow a certain path through the rooms and give context and facts about the works of art and their authors. For this team building activity to be effective, it is essential to choose an expert who combines outstanding knowledge of the subject matter with the capacity to talk about it in a compelling and captivating way. This is a performance that needs to keep the audience spellbound and immune to domestic distractions.
Pub quizzes and online tournaments
This kind of remote team-building activity requires some planning. Reach out to one of the many online gaming platforms that allow players to organise tournaments and keep scores and ask for exclusive access for your team. Choose a game that everyone can play and enjoys, ideally something easily accessible, like a trivia quiz, and offer your employees free access to the platform for a limited time. Make sure the platform you choose allows for in-game communication, to allow for one of the key ingredients of team-building: banter. At the end of the tournament, the winning team should get some form of a bonus, like an Amazon, Spotify or Apple Music coupon, and there should be a celebratory conference call or a group chat to finalise the bonding and symbolically share drinks and snacks.
Let’s stay positive!
We can’t wait to go back to our usual, in-real-life events, but we are more than happy to stick to remote team building activities for as long as it takes for Italy and for the whole world to get over this crisis. Let’s stay positive, let’s practice social distancing, and let’s keep supporting our healthcare professionals in every way.